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Saying, in thundering tones : “Here, take it! this is
your answer !” Silently out of the room then glided the glistening
savage, Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a serpent,
480 Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of
THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER
Just in the gray of the dawn, as the mists uprose
from the meadows, There was a stir and a sound in the slumbering village
of Plymouth; Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order impera
tive, “Forward !” Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and then silence.
485 Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the
village. Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valorLed by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the
ous army, 487 Eight: there were twelve drilled men. Why did he not take the remaining four ?
Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the
savage. Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of King David;
490 Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and
the Bible, Ay, who believed in the smiting of Midianites and
Philistines. Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of
morning; Under them loud on the sands, the serried billows,
advancing, Fired along the line, and in regular order retreated.
Many a mile had they marched, when at length the
village of Plymouth
490 Who was King David ? Had he any other reputation than that of a warrior ?
492 Midianites: look up Exodus ii. 15. From the Bible text, what is the probable location of this country?
Philistines: look up Exodus xiii. 17. What is the probable location of Philistia ? Why did the Israelites smite the Midianites and Philistines ?
498-495 Of what is this a description ?
Woke from its sleep, and arose, intent on its manifold
labors. Sweet was the air and soft; and slowly the smoke
from the chimneys Rose over roofs of thatch, and pointed steadily east
ward; Men came forth from the doors, and paused and talked of the weather,
500 Said that the wind had changed, and was blowing fair
for the Mayflower; Talked of their Captain's departure, and all the dan
gers that menaced, He being gone, the town, and what should be done in
his absence. Merrily sang the birds, and the tender voices of
Consecrated with hymns the common cares of the household.
505 Out of the sea rose the sun, and the billows rejoiced
at his coming; Beautiful were his feet on the purple tops of the
mountains; Beautiful on the sails of the Mayflower riding at her canvas,
501 Why is the wind said to be “ blowing fair for the Mayflower”? 507 Look up Isaiah lii. 7.
Battered and blackened and worn by all the storms of
the winter. Loosely against her masts was hanging and flapping
510 Rent by so many gales, and patched by the hands of
the sailors. Suddenly from her side, as the sun rose over the
ocean, Darted a puff of smoke, and floated seaward ; anon
rang Loud over field and forest the cannon's roar, and the
echoes Heard and repeated the sound, the signal-gun of departure!
515 Ah! but with louder echoes replied the hearts of the
people! Meekly, in voices subdued, the chapter was read from
the Bible, Meekly the prayer was begun, but ended in fervent
entreaty ! Then from their houses in haste came forth the Pil
grims of Plymouth, Men and women and children, all hurrying down to the
sea-shore, Eager, with tearful eyes, to say farewell to the May.
Homeward bound o'er the sea, and leaving them here
in the desert.
Foremost among them was Alden. All night he
had lain without slumber, Turning and tossing about in the heat and unrest of
his fever. He had beheld Miles Standish, who came back late from the council,
525 Stalking into the room, and heard him mutter and
murmur, Sometimes it seemed a prayer, and sometimes it sounded
like swearing. Once he had come to the bed, and stood there a mo
ment in silence; Then he had turned away, and said: “I will not
awake him ; Let him sleep on, it is best; for what is the use of more talking!”
530 Then he extinguished the light, and threw himself
down on his pallet, Dressed as he was, and ready to start at the break of
522 Desert: is Plymouth county a desert? What would be a better word? See if it will fit into the line.